If not the mother, would you salute Afzal Guru? Asks Venkaiah Naidu

NEW DELHI: Reacting to the objections raised by some quarters on singing ‘Vande Mataram’, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has asked, “if not your mother, who would you salute, Afzal Guru”.

“Vande Mataram mane maa tujhe salam. Kya samasya hai? Agar maa ko salam nahi karenge to kya Afzal Guru ko salam karenge? (Vande Mataram’ is an ode to the motherland, what is the problem with it? if you don’t salute your mother, who would you salute, Afzal Guru),” he asked.

Guru was given the capital punishment for his role in the attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001.

When someone says ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’, it is not about some goddess in a photo. “It is about all 125 crore people living in this country irrespective of their caste, colour, creed and religion. They all are Indians,” a media report quoted him as saying at an event to release a book on late VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who had led the movement for Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya.

Naidu has described the VHP leader as one of the “finest proponents of Hinduism” who “sacrificed” his life for the benefit of future generations.

Citing the Supreme Court, Naidu reportedly said that Hinduism has a broader meaning, a cultural connotation of India and not a narrow concept.

“Hinduism is our culture our tradition which has been passed on from various generations. There could be different ways of worship, but there is only one way of life that in Hinduism,” he reportedly said.

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